Economic & Social Development

DESA Website & e-Brochure

The Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) has launched a new DESA Website and e-Brochure that extends the current design with interactive multimedia features and accessibility from mobile devices. The new site comes with an improved navigation structure and better incorporates latest developments on the Internet. Users have access to latest news, publications and events of the Department, and can interact with DESA through video messages and social media. In addition, the e-Brochure provides an easy introduction and a human face to the Department, featuring interviews of staff members and brief presentations of who they are and what they do. For the best multimedia experience of the new site, please use Internet Explorer 9 or higher or the latest version of Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari.


Ending child labour in domestic work and protecting young workers from abusive working conditions




An estimated 10.5 million children worldwide – most of them under age – are working as domestic workers in people’s homes, in hazardous and sometimes slavery-like conditions, according to a new report published by the International Labour Organization (ILO) to mark World Day Against Child Labour, 12 June 2013. Six and a half million of these child labourers are aged between five and 14 years-old. More than 71 per cent are girls. According to the latest figures in this report, they work in the homes of a third party or employer, carrying out tasks such as cleaning, ironing, cooking, gardening, collecting water, looking after other children and caring for the elderly.


GEO-5 for Business: Impacts of a Changing Environment on the Corporate Sector (UNEP)

The future of the private sector will increasingly hinge on the ability of businesses to adapt to the world’s rapidly changing environment and to develop goods and services that can reduce the impacts of climate change, water scarcity, emissions of harmful chemicals, and other environmental concerns. From extreme weather events, to rising pressures on finite natural resources, changes in the global environment will increasingly impact operating costs, markets for products, the availability of raw materials, and the reputation of businesses, from finance and tourism, to healthcare and transport. While the risks are significant, such environmental changes also represent major opportunities for businesses that successfully manage them, and seize the demand for sustainable technologies, investments and services. These are among the main findings of a new report released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), SustainAbility and Green Light Group on 21 June 2013.

 Reducing Food Loss and Waste (UNEP / WRI -World Resources Institute)

One out of every four calories produced by the global agricultural system is being lost or wasted, according to new analysis. This poses a serious challenge to the planet’s ability to reduce hunger and meet the food needs of a rapidly-expanding global population. Released on World Environment Day (WED), which this year carries the theme ‘Think.Eat.Save – Reduce Your Foodprint’, the new working paper shows that more than half of the food lost and wasted in Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia occurs close to the fork-at the consumption stage. By contrast, in developing countries, about two-thirds of the food lost and wasted occurs close to the farm-after harvest and storage.

state of food The State of Food and Agriculture 2013: Food Systems for Better Nutrition (FAO)

Report in English, Summary in English, French & Spanish:

The new report notes that although some 870 million people were still hungry in the world in 2010-2012, this is just a fraction of the billions of people whose health, wellbeing and lives are blighted by malnutrition. Two billion people suffer from one or more micronutrient deficiencies, while 1.4 billion are overweight, of whom 500 million are obese, according to SOFA. Twenty six percent of all children under five are stunted and 31 percent suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

 State of School Feeding Worldwide 2013

English, French & Spanish:

The first State of School Feeding Worldwide report, produced by WFP provides a global picture of developments in school feeding, with maps, analysis, and research.

 The State of the World’s Children 2013: Children with Disabilities (UNICEF)

English, French & Spanish:

The 2013 edition of “The State of the World’s Children” is dedicated to the situation of children with disabilities. The report examines the barriers – from inaccessible buildings to dismissive attitudes, from invisibility in official statistics to vicious discrimination – that deprive children with disabilities of their rights and keep them from participating fully in society. It also lays out some of the key elements of inclusive societies that respect and protect the rights of children with disabilities, adequately support them and their families, and nurture their abilities – so that they may take advantage of opportunities to flourish and make their contribution to the world.

 Sustainable development starts and ends with safe, healthy and well-educated children (UNICEF position paper)

The report outlines three messages that are key for achieving a world fit for children: 1- the progress of children can be a major driver of sustainable development; 2 -children are stakeholders in a sustainable world; 3- children can and should be major participants in and contributors to a healthy, sustainable planet.

 Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts and the Case for Resilience (World Bank)

English, French & Spanish:

An expected 2°C rise in the world’s average temperatures in the next decades threatens South Asia’s dense urban populations with extreme heat, flooding, and disease and could trap millions of people in poverty across the region, according to a new scientific report released on 19 June 2013 by the World Bank Group.

 World Economic Situation and Prospects 2013 – Update as of mid-2013 (DESA)

Global economic growth will continue to be “below potential” this year and job creation will be vital to spur recovery. Since late 2012, new policy initiatives in major developed economies have reduced systemic risks and helped stabilize consumer, business and investor confidence, but with very limited improvement in economic growth.

 World of Work Report 2013: Repairing the economic and social fabric (ILO)

Report and Summary:–en/index.htm

The study analyses the global employment situation five years after the start of the global financial crisis. It looks at labour market performance and projections both at the global and regional levels.

Also available are the following Country & Region briefs: Africa, Canada, European Union, Germany, India, Italy, Latin America,Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.

 World Population and Prospects, the 2012 Revision (DESA Population Division)

The new revision is the twenty-third round of global demographic estimates and projections. World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050 with most growth in developing regions, especially Africa. India expected to become world’s largest country, passing China around 2028, while Nigeria could surpass the United States by 2050.